Author Topic: Chopin Recordings  (Read 244122 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1400 on: September 22, 2016, 07:30:09 AM »
12-13 minutes is probably ideal for a first movement with repeat but on the other hand Sokolov's recording of the Op. 25 Etudes is probably my favourite. I'll check him out. I think I decided against Hamelin ages ago but don't remember why (would have had to buy his recording since it's not up for streaming, and that's money)

I'll send you Hamelin, it is definitely more than just typing.

There are two recordings from Sokolov, I liked the earlier one very much.
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1401 on: January 16, 2017, 02:20:00 PM »
Preludes, Rana. Bringing this over from Amazon (verbatim):





Apologies, but I disagree with Mr. Morrison in his earlier review. Rana's recording of the Preludes emphatically belongs in the top tier...and then some!!

And yes I also own Moravec's Supraphon recording (plus others, including Cherkassky, Alexeev, Argerich, etc...) and have owned plenty of Cortot throughout the years (don't currently) so the reference point between myself and Mr. Morrison appears similar.

My conclusion: Rana need not fear placement amongst these A-list names. 'Nuff said.

What sets her apart from the crowd (*ahem* and what earns her placement in the top tier!) is her palpable willingness to forge her own path in these works, letting her instincts and obvious talent do the talking in works steeped in performance lore from the earliest days of recording technology (and before, obviously). This is her strength. She goes all-in with confidence and is unafraid to "make her mark".

And with her talents her (*ahem* again) "mark" is something to behold.

What she brings to the table is a sense of the long view, that each prelude has a concrete sense of placement in a fixed point in the musical timeline. An "overarching" view (with room to spare!) of each piece might be a good way to describe it.

It's within this "fixed" framework that she can take all the time she needs to flesh out the granitic, the grandiose, the heart-stopping, along with whatever else of the grand-gesture type so abundant in these works.

But it doesn't end there. The Preludes couldn't properly be called "Preludes" without the daring moments of poetry, intricacy, delicacy, and finger-tangling felicities. In this, Rana is as natural an advocate as she is for the "grandiose".

As a concept, this is a menagerie of the delicate and the dynamic, which creates a sensation in the listener every bit as tactile as being shaken in an oversized tumbler, or hurled through a hyperactive wind tunnel, or spying team gymnastics via the moon-cam. Not many pianists can pull this off to the degree Rana can (some can manage the moon-cam experience but little else ;D).

Her cohort in this little exercise is the gorgeous recorded sound, capturing from top to bottom, well...everything (except extraneous noises).

The bottom line: I like this... :)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 01:52:40 PM by Dancing Divertimentian »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline amw

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1402 on: January 16, 2017, 05:18:16 PM »
12-13 minutes is probably ideal for a first movement with repeat but on the other hand Sokolov's recording of the Op. 25 Etudes is probably my favourite. I'll check him out. I think I decided against Hamelin ages ago but don't remember why (would have had to buy his recording since it's not up for streaming, and that's money)
I forgot I posted in this thread. -_-

Hamelin is as good as advertised, fwiw. Preferable to most. Sokolov wasn't my thing (his latest recordings increasingly tend not to be unfortunately). I enjoyed the two other Weissenbergs, a slower one on Sony and (especially) a somewhat fast live one on Hänssler—I think he tends to slow down a bit too much in the second theme area of the first movement, regardless of recording. Among repeat-less recordings, I liked the EMI Argerich better than either of her DG outings, as well as Kapell, and Fiorentino (one of the few "slower" recordings I got on with for whatever reason), and Badura-Skoda.

(edit: also agree, good review, im not as enthusiastic about it as you are but still)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 05:33:45 PM by amw »

Offline NikF

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1403 on: January 16, 2017, 05:29:29 PM »
My introduction to Chopin was via this -


- and I'm still fond of it. However this thread is presenting many interesting alternatives and a huge amount of info - most of which is over my head - but I'm enjoying the read nonetheless. :)

And that post above by Dancing Divertimentian - what a thoroughly glowing review! So much so, I feel compelled not just to purchase the CD, but also learn to speak Italian, marry the performer, and, to volunteer to polish her piano every day without even needing to be asked:)
"You overestimate my power of attraction," he told her. "No, I don't," she replied sharply, "and neither do you".

Offline George

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1404 on: January 16, 2017, 05:33:06 PM »
My introduction to Chopin was via this -


- and I'm still fond of it. However this thread is presenting many interesting alternatives and a huge amount of info - most of which is over my head - but I'm enjoying the read nonetheless. :)

And that post above by Dancing Divertimentian - what a thoroughly glowing review! So much so, I feel compelled not just to purchase the CD, but also learn to speak Italian, marry the performer, and, to volunteer to polish her piano every day without even needing to be asked:)

I hope you have Arrau's Nocturnes. They were my intro to Chopin and 10 sets later, he's still my favorite. This is the best mastering that I have found:

   
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline NikF

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1405 on: January 16, 2017, 05:37:13 PM »
I hope you have Arrau's Nocturnes. They were my intro to Chopin and 10 sets later, he's still my favorite. This is the best mastering that I have found:



No, I don't. But I'll check that issue out. Cheers. :)
"You overestimate my power of attraction," he told her. "No, I don't," she replied sharply, "and neither do you".

Offline George

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1406 on: January 16, 2017, 05:38:40 PM »
No, I don't. But I'll check that issue out. Cheers. :)

My pleasure!  :)
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1407 on: January 16, 2017, 05:39:33 PM »
And that post above by Dancing Divertimentian - what a thoroughly glowing review! So much so, I feel compelled not just to purchase the CD, but also learn to speak Italian, marry the performer, and, to volunteer to polish her piano every day without even needing to be asked:)

Yeah, I'll happily join you in polishing her piano! ;D
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline NikF

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1408 on: January 16, 2017, 05:42:53 PM »
Yeah, I'll happily join you in polishing her piano! ;D

 :laugh:
"You overestimate my power of attraction," he told her. "No, I don't," she replied sharply, "and neither do you".

Offline George

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1409 on: January 16, 2017, 05:58:59 PM »
Yeah, I'll happily join you in polishing her piano! ;D

I suppose you'll want her to polish something of yours in return?
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1410 on: January 16, 2017, 06:26:04 PM »
I suppose you'll want her to polish something of yours in return?

Y'know, I actually did mean "piano" but the second I posted my reply I noticed the sinister angle! ;D ;D
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1411 on: January 26, 2017, 07:47:50 PM »
The younger generation can't play Chopin? Don't tell that to Ms. Fischer.



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/j6gbRllaX4A" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/j6gbRllaX4A</a>
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline NikF

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1412 on: January 26, 2017, 09:39:24 PM »
The younger generation can't play Chopin? Don't tell that to Ms. Fischer.



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/j6gbRllaX4A" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/j6gbRllaX4A</a>

I don't know much, however that sounded like a confident and perhaps even assertive performance. No prisoners were taken. And I found it most enjoyable. Thanks for posting it.
"You overestimate my power of attraction," he told her. "No, I don't," she replied sharply, "and neither do you".

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1413 on: January 27, 2017, 05:05:34 PM »
I don't know much, however that sounded like a confident and perhaps even assertive performance. No prisoners were taken. And I found it most enjoyable. Thanks for posting it.

Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. The Etudes need a little extra TLC (in one form or another) from the pianist 'else they come across as too dry. Ms. Fischer's approach is a great way to tackle the problem - "no prisoners" equates to vitality.

It's too bad there isn't a recording of the complete Etudes by her. If you ever have a hankering for these works a good similar approach can be found in Gavrilov or John Browning.
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1414 on: February 03, 2017, 10:34:40 AM »


David Fray plays Chopin. My feeling is that this is  worth hearing. It's a classical vision - everything is about beauty and melody and flow. In loud music he can still make a beautiful and rich sound. Not cloying, not sentimental, not cold. State of the art recording.

He has certainly developed a distinctive voice, I saw that in his Schubert D894, and you hear the same voice in this Chopin.
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1415 on: April 15, 2017, 03:38:15 PM »
Defining the Etudes isn't easy. Are they simple follow-the-leader-type printed exercises? Are they "from the ground up" skeletal schematics requiring enhancement (derangement?) by the pianist? Are they both? Are they neither? Something in-between?

Dunno, really. The trick as I see it is to somehow take the mass of Etude notes and spring them from the confines of the written page. If all goes well then out pop musical statements. Simple enough, apparently, since this philosophy is the backbone of ALL musical interpretation. But for me something about the Etudes has kept them at arm's length from me throughout the decades. Finding a recording which ticks every single conceptual box leading to a sort of concrete "sweet pick" (so to speak) hasn't been easy.

Not that I haven't enjoyed performances from pianists who run the interpretive gamut, including, say, Pollini or Freire, who epitomize the former approach above, to Gavrilov and John Browning, each of whom espouse the latter approach above, to Cziffra, who is an island unto himself.

In their own respective ways each of these pianists has taken the printed notes and made them their own. They have delivered, well...music. No easy feat. But I've always craved more from these pieces. Could it be I've wished for perhaps more than is available in those printed notes? Again, dunno. In the end, though, I've always held out hope.

And I'm glad I did. Just recently I discovered what I feel is a recording which fulfills every whimsy of mine in the Etudes, the recording by Janina Fialkowska below, a pianist who until now has been completely unknown to me.

Well, it's safe to say, she's led off with a bang!! This is exactly how I've always envisioned the Etudes: one part "study", a la Pollini, one part "swashbuckling", a la Browning, and one part, well..."X-factor", which in this case is Fialkowska herself.

It's the entire Etude "ethos" wrapped in one tidy package. The panache is off the charts. What exactly does she do to accomplish this Herculean feat? Well, I suppose she's "taken those printed notes and made them her own". Unlike anybody I've ever heard.

To be a little more specific perhaps, I'd say there's a unique pliability to her approach, with a sinewy sweetness, which goes a long way towards taming the idea of "mere study" in these pieces. But just as importantly she never loses sight of the fact that these pieces are indeed grounded in study!

Another way of putting it might be, what we hear is something akin to a refraction of the pieces, reflected and refracted through some sort of uniquely cut prism. Each piece sounds like an Etude but there's fundamentally more to those sounds. An "enhancement" as mentioned at the start of this post, perhaps, but emphatically not a "derangement". Something like that. "Flair", maybe. 

Helping Fialkowska is first-rate sonics.

 


 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 11:11:38 AM by Dancing Divertimentian »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Jo498

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1416 on: April 15, 2017, 11:08:58 PM »
Have you heard the 1980s (or early 1990s) live recording of op.25 by Sokolov (op.111/Naive)? This was probably the third or fourth disk with Chopin's music I heard as a relative newbie (I had listened to classical for almost 10 years then but only little solo piano and less Chopin) and the first with the etudes and they always seemed like music to me, never like studies. And op.25 has remained that way, even in less poetic interpretations. Admittedly, I never got into op.10 to the same extent. Although Cziffra and maybe Francois are certainly also far from playing them as "studies".
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1417 on: April 16, 2017, 11:55:34 AM »
Have you heard the 1980s (or early 1990s) live recording of op.25 by Sokolov (op.111/Naive)? This was probably the third or fourth disk with Chopin's music I heard as a relative newbie (I had listened to classical for almost 10 years then but only little solo piano and less Chopin) and the first with the etudes and they always seemed like music to me, never like studies. And op.25 has remained that way, even in less poetic interpretations. Admittedly, I never got into op.10 to the same extent. Although Cziffra and maybe Francois are certainly also far from playing them as "studies".

Sokolov is good, in his extrovert way. He keeps the Etudes moving forward and from sounding too "studied". But in truth I don't really turn to Sokolov too often.   

As far as Cziffra (on Philips), for all his swagger and eye-popping excesses he still doesn't sound quite as "loose" to me as Fialkowska. But hot damn is he on fire!! ;D
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1418 on: April 16, 2017, 02:02:15 PM »
Defining the Etudes isn't easy. Are they simple follow-the-leader-type printed exercises? Are they "from the ground up" skeletal schematics requiring enhancement (derangement?) by the pianist? Are they both? Are they neither? Something in-between?

Dunno, really. The trick as I see it is to somehow take the mass of Etude notes and spring them from the confines of the written page. If all goes well then out pop musical statements. Simple enough, apparently, since this philosophy is the backbone of ALL musical interpretation. But for me something about the Etudes has kept them at arm's length from me throughout the decades. Finding a recording which ticks every single conceptual box leading to a sort of concrete "sweet pick" (so to speak) hasn't been easy.

Not that I haven't enjoyed performances from pianists who run the interpretive gamut, including, say, Pollini or Friere, who epitomize the former approach above, to Gavrilov and John Browning, each of whom espouse the latter approach above, to Cziffra, who is an island unto himself.

In their own respective ways each of these pianists has taken the printed notes and made them their own. They have delivered, well...music. No easy feat. But I've always craved more from these pieces. Could it be I've wished for perhaps more than is available in those printed notes? Again, dunno. In the end, though, I've always held out hope.

And I'm glad I did. Just recently I discovered what I feel is a recording which fulfills every whimsy of mine in the Etudes, the recording by Janina Fialkowska below, a pianist who until now has been completely unknown to me.

Well, it's safe to say, she's led off with a bang!! This is exactly how I've always envisioned the Etudes: one part "study", a la Pollini, one part "swashbuckling", a la Browning, and one part, well..."X-factor", which in this case is Fialkowska herself.

It's the entire Etude "ethos" wrapped in one tidy package. The panache is off the charts. What exactly does she do to accomplish this Herculean feat? Well, I suppose she's "taken those printed notes and made them her own". Unlike anybody I've ever heard.

To be a little more specific perhaps, I'd say there's a unique pliability to her approach, with a sinewy sweetness, which goes a long way towards taming the idea of "mere study" in these pieces. But just as importantly she never loses sight of the fact that these pieces are indeed grounded in study!

Another way of putting it might be, what we hear is something akin to a refraction of the pieces, reflected and refracted through some sort of uniquely cut prism. Each piece sounds like an Etude but there's fundamentally more to those sounds. An "enhancement" as mentioned at the start of this post, perhaps, but emphatically not a "derangement". Something like that. "Flair", maybe. 

Helping Fialkowska is first-rate sonics.

 


The picture looks a little bit like a Pleyel ? Is that what she uses in this recording?

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Chopin Recordings
« Reply #1419 on: April 16, 2017, 04:14:48 PM »
The picture looks a little bit like a Pleyel ? Is that what she uses in this recording?

The picture is indeed of a Pleyel (good eye!) but the booklet doesn't specify what piano is used for the recording. Whatever it is it's definitely modern, though.
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach